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19 Responses

  1. Jack Russell says:

    So the message being of state and church oppressing women.

    I find it interesting while in raising concerns about the well being for women the appetite for blame. Unless we all take ownership for the welfare of women and address that then little is going to change. We may wish to apportion blame but even if that can be done, it doesn’t bring about resolutions.

    Perhaps if we can work together to solve such problems we might eventually get round to doing the same for men. Suicide rates among men being at what 78% or so globally kinda suggests a problem.

  2. Although concern for men is legit, I’m very suspicious as to why you feel it is necessary to bring up the suffering of men when I point out the suffering of women.

  3. Jack Russell says:

    It seems with your “suspicion” they might be something you wish to imply from that. If so I am happy to engage with that. For now I will leave it.

    All I want to say is that I think it very difficult to segregate one area of suffering from another. Men/women, black/white, Jew / Gentile the list goes on. In our shared humanity and if we are truly living with holding to it being self evident that all are born equal with dignity and relate to each other as family then it shouldn’t matter what gender, race religion (or absence of religion) we are. If one person suffers we suffer. Our thriving depends on other’s thriving and other’s thriving depends on out thriving.

    My main point is that apportioning blame doesn’t bring about resolution so I share a degree of suspicion of why you felt the need to comment on the suffering of men. I don’t see there being a need for conflict or disagreement over this and I think it is a problem when we become polarised and tribal where opportunities exist for us to work together on problems we agree exist.

    Nevertheless if history has something to teach us perhaps it’s this that the capacity for humanity to be at adversity with the other seems ever present.

    Maybe the “enemy” in often cases isn’t “the other” but the enemy within – ones own ego?

  4. Caryn LeMur says:

    OK… may I have the link to the speech or article that prompted this cartoon?

    Or, is this your personal observation?

  5. Caryn LeMur says:

    Hmmmmm… ok Jack. You really need to show your source for a suicide rate of 78% of any people group.

    Otherwise, no one will believe your point.

  6. no article. just the story of Roy Moore etc

  7. Caryn LeMur says:

    And Jack, you’ve shared before how you were abused as a boy/young man. And how deeply that cut a scar into you.

    I hear you.

    However, if you really wish to pursue the concept of equality of response (when there is a difference in how society reacts to males that claim sexual abuse as compared to females that claim sexual abuse), I think you need your own blog.

    And, seriously, send me the link when you build that blog. I am curious concerning your arguments.

  8. Jack Russell says:

    Caryn – I don’t recall talking about anything to do with abuse with you other than what has happened recently in a work situation. So I am not sure what you are talking about boy/young man… deeply… scar. Are you sure you are not thinking about someone else? For the record I wasn’t sexually abused at any time as a young man or boy. I’m not sure why you are making this into something sexual or personal to me.

    This main focus of the cartoon is about oppression of women – so getting back to that you talk of “equality of response when there is a difference in how society reacts to males”. I think it obvious there are differing needs and in the light of these things, I think that there is a need for men to be strong and supportive of women who face oppression if this problem is to be solved. And that when women suffer men suffer too and vice versa. That we thrive when the other thrives and the other thrives when we thrive. Do you disagree with any of that?

  9. Jack Russell says:

    International suicide figures by gender here http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-statistics.html

  10. Caryn LeMur says:

    Ah, Jack. I mixed you up. My apology.

  11. Caryn LeMur says:

    Jack: thank you for the link. For men:
    Your UK region is about 10.8 per 100,000.
    While the US is about 17.9 per 100,000.

    Per the Link: Over one million people die by suicide worldwide each year.
    The global suicide rate is 16 per 100,000 population.

  12. Caryn LeMur says:

    From the Link:

    “Suicide Causes
    by Kevin Caruso
    Over 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death.
    And the most common mental illness is depression.
    Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.
    Untreated mental illness (including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and others) is the cause for the vast majority of suicides. “

  13. Caryn LeMur says:

    From the Link:

    “Some of the negative life experiences that may cause depression, and some other causes for depression, include:

    The death of a loved one.

    A divorce, separation, or breakup of a relationship.

    Losing custody of children, or feeling that a child custody decision is not fair.

    A serious loss, such as a loss of a job, house, or money.

    A serious illness.

    A terminal illness.

    A serious accident.

    Chronic physical pain.

    Intense emotional pain.

    Loss of hope.

    Being victimized (domestic violence, rape, assault, etc).

    A loved one being victimized (child murder, child molestation, kidnapping, murder, rape, assault, etc.).

    Physical abuse.

    Verbal abuse.

    Sexual abuse.

    Unresolved abuse (of any kind) from the past.

    Feeling “trapped” in a situation perceived as negative.

    Feeling that things will never “get better.”

    Feeling helpless.

    Serious legal problems, such as criminal prosecution or incarceration.

    Feeling “taken advantage of.”

    Inability to deal with a perceived “humiliating” situation.

    Inability to deal with a perceived “failure.”

    Alcohol abuse.

    Drug abuse.

    A feeling of not being accepted by family, friends, or society.

    A horrible disappointment.

    Feeling like one has not lived up to his or her high expectations or those of another.

    Bullying. (Adults, as well as children, can be bullied.)

    Low self-esteem.

    Again, the above causes may trigger depression, and untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide. “

  14. Caryn LeMur says:

    Whew… So, Jack, I think (using your Link), your basic argument is that ‘depression, which may lead to suicide’ is a common characteristic of men and women. Given that men have greater numbers of suicide per 100,000, then it follows that at least equal attention should be paid to men suffering from depression.

    That said, …. it is still puzzling why you pulled ‘men’ into a cartoon on President Trump driving a bus, while the church organization (assumed to be our White Evangelical groups) is throwing women under the bus.

    Here in the States, we have Patriarchy being taught in our White Evangelical Churches – the real crap, wherein men are the ‘spiritual covering’ for women, and women are (by God’s design) second-class citizens.

    And… the teaching grows incredibly strong when discussing a married couple. She is to “submit” to his authority… which all too often is taken to mean the military training that you and I have had.

    ‘Military-like submission until death (in a marriage)’ has become the de facto teaching of the White Evangelicals.

    It is this style of submission that has devastated women in the States.

    They cannot honorably resign, as you and I did. With no way out (for divorce is ‘of the devil’), they may sink into depression… and yes, then consider suicide.

    And as David’s cartoon is implying, the statements of our President have only emboldened the Patriarchy of the White Evangelicals, and women are indeed ‘being thrown under the bus’.

  15. Jack Russell says:

    As mentioned Caryn my “basic argument” as stated is that if we can work together to address problems that women face of being “[thrown] under the bus” we might eventually get round to doing the same for men. David rightly commented “concern for men is legit”. You wrote “you really need to show your source for a suicide rate of 78% of any people group.” I obliged with the link. Looking at that link the rate in the US is slightly higher according to their figure at a little over 80%..

    You don’t question whether the figure is factual therefore you are implying agreement with the figure.

    Again – getting back to the OP with women being oppressed no amount of blame even it can be apportioned is going to address the problem. The OP highlighter a problem, I am offering a solution with a responsibility for all to address it, keeping men strong so that men can be a powerful support to women and finding a solution to this problem. You mentioned differing needs and again this is something we agree on. I mentioned when we thrive the other thrived and when the other thrives we thrive asking if you disagreed with that. You didn’t express a disagreement which therefore implies agreement.

    You feel puzzled – all I can do is explain in order to find a solution to that problem, the rest is up to you. Your feelings are about you – David’s suspicion is about him. It would be silly to try an apportion blame or responsibility to someone for something that is about you. So I’m going to take that you are someone sensible and acting accordingly in not wanting to do that. For if you were then that would make you look like you are being silly and again it’s easy to blame I get why people do it but it doesn’t do anything to resolve a problem.

    I agree with you that patriarchal oppression, treating women as second class citizens with military like subordination with that happening in marriage are problems that are real and devastating for many women and may sink into depression and suicide in situations they feel they can’t leave – this being worse than what you and I faced in a work situation that we left.

    No I didn’t “honourably resign” that’s the second thing about me that you have got wrong Caryn. I was in a situation that was difficulty for me, and according to someone that had power over me I had been conducting myself as a “self appointed advocate”. Conduct that I continue to participate in with a friend there who reports to me that she is being bullied. The person in the senior position talked of the “easiest resolution” when I was there to be that I resign to which he “invited” me to do. In response I said I am not resigning. As you know I then initiated a complaints procedure. The intention of the procedure was to “learn, improve and put things right for the complainant”. The opposite was how it was used. After 10 weeks of this process I was dismissed. Now, my colleague that is still there is facing similar and I am providing support, keeping myself strong for them now that I can do with distancing myself form the situation and healing from it.

    So don’t try to imply that I am part of the problem with women being thrown under the bus please. Your last comment felt like a lecture, I hear you talk about the problem but I don’t see anything conducive to a solution to it. May I suggest that greater clarity ma be the result for you if you don’t assume oppression? Sure I am white, heterosexual and male but if treated as someone who is oppressive when there is no evidence of such then what good is that doing for women.

    Again our thriving depends on the other’s thriving and the other’s thriving depends on our thriving. We agree on this. If we fight among ourselves with blaming we are divided and ineffectual. If we are united we can formulate ways forward together to solve problems and be a powerful force in doing so – in this case the oppression of women.

    Again I would offer that sometimes the real enemy can be one’s own ego.

  16. Caryn LeMur says:

    Jack: the suicide rate for men is not 80%. The table at the Link shows 17.9 per 100,000. So, your figure is totally incorrect. What particular group is 80%?

    I am sorry you lost your job. How upsetting! I have been there… and the memory of my dismissal is still fresh after 11 years.

    And I agree that our own ego’s are often an enemy; however, our ego is also our friend. Even your own ego is keeping you going forward, after an unjust dismissal.

    Further, your statement “no amount of blame, [no matter how] it can be apportioned, is going to address the problem. ”

    I greatly non-concur.

    The White Evangelical church institution in the States is aggressive in its patriarchy. It is destroying the self-esteem of married women (and unmarried women). They completely avoid the concepts of the Book of Galatians (equality has been purchased and given by Christ) and explain that one Book completely away, and gladly cling to much older verses. And sadly, our President has greatly implied that women are a lesser creature, created for non-equality with men.

    Thus, until the White Evangelical church accepts blame, it will do nothing to change. It will continue to believe that God is responsible for any and all damage done to the women that attend… and that they are ‘just the messenger’.

    There are times when a finger must be pointed to stimulate the conversation.

    There are times when the prosecutor of a court must point out the evils done by the defendant.

    Blame matters.

  17. Jack Russell says:

    Caryn – figures of suicides for United States from the table – per 100,000 population per year -17.9 male,
    4.2 female. So if I have my sums right as a percentage that makes out of those figures, that equals 80.99% of the suicides male according to this data.

    True our ego is our friend as well as our enemy. It warns us of danger you are right with it keeping me going forward after an unjust dismissal, as it will have been for you after you left your job and found yourself in a better positon a few months down the line. Thank you for your support and empathy about that.

    Regarding blame I hear your disagreement. But I am going to stand by what I say about blame even if it can be apportioned not bringing about solution and explain why. As you rightly pointed out, unless an oppressor is aware of or made to be aware of their conduct and a problem identified as such then there is no way of going about solving it. A brilliant reference you made for that as an excellent example is the book of Galatians. However what you have alluded to with Gal 3:28 can be taken out of context to be about equality and for example addressing oppression of Gentiles by Jews in demanding circumcision. It is being about all being one in Christ i.e. Christ being for everyone. So you don’t have to be Jew, free and a man. And by implication Jew/men/free thriving is dependent on Gentiles/women/slaves thriving any vice versa as part of the same body. If one part of the body, suffers the rest sufferers with it. If another has cause for celebration, the rest of the body joins in with that. And in the midst of this damning letter the beauty of the fruits of the Sprit being described. Not unlike the issues addressed in the first book to the Corinthians being contrasted with a beautiful chapter about love.

    So I agree with you that there are time when a finger must be pointed and a prosecutor must point out evils. But again, resolving these, bringing about resolution will not be achieved by such.

    In my work situation, I was accused of something while someone in a senior position to me said he was entirely confident that I had acted honourably and my conduct was never in question. And yet this same person tried to hold me responsible for things not being resolved between myself and my accuser. If he was right in what he said about my conduct, the resolution would have been for responsibility to be apportioned onto my accuser for this resolution not coming about. I was in a meeting where I witnessed this same person in a senior position doing similar to a college of mine as he did to me with criticism. So I supported my colleague. Now if a colleague is being bullied and the person bullying her is saying no it is she that has the conduct problem am I wrong to act in support of my colleague with “self appointed advocacy”?

    So my point when women suffer, men suffer to and we need each other I need to keep strong to be there in support for women. I don’t think what I did was a conduct issue and deserving of dismissal. I think there was a systemic issue with abuse of power in which I have experience shared suffering.

    I think the love of God is the most powerful force in the universe, one which brings shame on oppressors and one which is exercised by loving enemies. I think it also bring about release for the oppressed, and ushers in life to the fullest.

    If I deserve shooting for expressing that – then shoot me.

  18. Caryn LeMur says:

    Naw…. no shooting needed. LOL.

    I now see how you came up with your 80%. Of the suicides in the US, 80% are male vs 20% are female.

    Yes, an unjust dismissal can certainly be a misuse of power.

    I disagree concerning the context of Galatians 3:

    For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
     For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
    And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    In short:
    You are all the children of God.
    You have all put on Christ.
    There is no division of race, social status, or gender – you are all one in Christ.
    You are all heirs of the promise.

    The context is equality. Especially within the Church (the Body of Christ).

    In my mind, the Church should be the one place wherein you can find rampant equality dominating the application of rampant patriarchy. To me, the Letter of Galatians was to the most mature of all the early churches (even though some returned to circumcision); and thus, the Letter shows the goal of a mature community.

    Lastly, you wrote, “So I agree with you that there are time when a finger must be pointed and a prosecutor must point out evils. But again, resolving these, bringing about resolution, will not be achieved by such.”

    Here is my theoretical path to resolution:
    I lean towards the pointing finger, the acceptance of blame, the work of repentance, the recreation of the organization into a much more equality-based organization. [At least towards the White Evangelical churches of the US.]

    So then, what is your theoretical path to resolution?

  19. Jack Russell says:

    Ahh – no need for shooting – good there is life in the old dog yet. Woof woof :).

    You disagree on the interpretation. I think there is not a huge disagreement there but one of nuance. You write of all being children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. That is exactly the interpretation I take in context of Gal 3:38. And text out of context is a pretexts and there is political gravitas around the word “equality”. If for example masters and slaves relate toward one another as family, then it won’t be an issue for masters not to treat slaves harshly and slaves to be obedient to masters. It would in incongruent with masters treating slaves badly and slaves uprising in rebellion against masters. I disagree with this being an advocacy for slavery rather that in the context of slavery happening this is how all being children of God is to work out in practice. And if that occurs then perhaps over the course of time change would happen so that slavery no longer exists among those in Christ within a Christian community.

    I find it hard to imagine a literal use of word like rampant and domination to be consistent with that, but may be useful as hyperbole to make a point for rhetorical effect if that was your intention.

    It seems with your suggestion it is systemically based and with a particular context. Deconstruction suggest that in the process of deconstruction, that which is deconstructed gets reconstructed in a senses. In this case one system – there still being a system that exists. And no human system is ever going to bring real security. There is also something to bear in mind that by the measure you judge, you will be judged. So yes there is a form of “equality” in that for want of a non politicised word.

    So my suggestion would be to take mind and emotion away from earthly concerns. If you are my fellow child in Christ as I am to you these will be secondary to Christ. In this there is much mystery and the beauty of this is the wonderful unexpected surprises can materialise in my experience. I think it has to be governed by love. And this is risky. It risks alienation from groups we affiliate with if we are to “love your enemies”. I think Martin Luther King is a reasonable model to follow. Spoken by many as if he were an “uncle Tom” enabling oppression his advocacy of love and non-violence I think is a good model to follow or at least be inspired by. So for example when sanitation workers were being oppressed, appeal against that. Then if that is not met with resolution say OK in that case we have an agenda and will take our services elsewhere. So the company has to adapt to change.

    With the institutions you talk of to change I think it takes that kind of courage that MLK showed and challenged others to exhibit. In taking actions not to be concerned about the outcome for you as a result, but what will be the outcome for those oppressed of you don’t. And to be unified in this.

    So if people are willing to sacrifice their careers, status, power etc. for something greater just as Jesus said that he came for release of the oppressed and in glorifying God was glorified by God I think we will get somewhere. Also the oppressed when finding release and gain power, don’t repeat the cycle of oppression. For this to happen I think there is as much of a need to have as much introspection as criticism of others.

    And I think if we all were focussed on such greatness then we can have some amazing conversations and mutual thriving. I think we must bear in mind that in order to be great in the world the way it id you must be prepared to face being mocked, misjudged and hated.

    Small minds can’t understand great spirits!

    Sorry if I rambled on a bit there 🙂

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